Since it was introduced in April 2015, the controversial Immigration Health Charge has been criticised and described as an additional an unfair tax, especially on migrant NHS workers.
As mentioned in the UK budget announcement made by UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, on 11th March, the health surcharge was set to be increased in October 2020 from £400 to £625 per year.
However, on the daily Downing Street press conference, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has finally addressed this issue. When asked whether it was right to “scrap” the surcharge for overseas NHS staff given their effort to fight the pandemic, Ms Patel replied that the health charge is currently under review.
“We are looking at everything, including visas and surcharge. We are looking at everything now in terms of what we can do to continue to support everyone on the frontline of the NHS. We are speaking about the healthcare professionals, the medics, the doctors and nurses and allied healthcare professionals who have come to the UK.”
New update on this story: the NHS healthcare surcharge has now been scrapped for NHS workers.